Posted to the right is the abstract of a 1917 column that first appeared in THE NEW YORK EVENING POST. The original was penned by NAACP secretary James Weldon Johnson (1871 – 1938), who was also a respected writer, anthologist, educator and diplomat. In this article he listed all the various artistic contributions that the African-American community had made to the world of dance and music.
"I believe the Negro possesses a valuable and much-needed gift that he will contribute to the future American democracy. I have tried to point out that the Negro is here not merely to be a beneficiary of American democracy, not merely to receive...Out of his wealth of artistic and emotional endowment he is going to give something that is wanting, something that is needed, something that no other element in all the nation has to give."
Click here to read a history of African-Americans between the years 1619 through 1939.